Welcome to the B&MK Waterway Trust

The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust was established in 1995 to promote the development of a  broad waterway park, which will link the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes to the river Great Ouse in Bedford through a series of waterway parks. It will include pathways and green space designed to meet the needs of all who enjoy rambling, walking, cycling, fishing, horse riding and those who simply like to chill out next to the waterway park.  We believe it should be an essential part of the infrastructure in the Oxford/Milton Keynes/Cambridge Corridor.

Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Trust needs your help! We are very concerned that the long-term future of the proposed 26km Waterway Park linking the River Great Ouse in Bedford with the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes is under serious threat. A long awaited upgrade of the A421 from Milton Keynes to the M1, recently announced by Chris Grayling MP, crosses the route of the proposed Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway but omits a culvert to provide a future route underneath the road for it. To put in a culvert once the road has been built will be very difficult. It will be a lot more expensive and once again disrupt this major road leading into Milton Keynes. We believe this seriously threatens the future feasibility of the Waterway Park.

The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust has been in discussion with the two Local Authorities involved in the scheme, Milton Keynes Council and Central Bedfordshire Council, for well over two years to ensure that the Waterway route, which is protected in three Local Plans, is not blocked when the A 421 is upgraded. Planning permission for a culvert has been granted, it is just not included in the road scheme. The only way forward we have been offered is to fund the culvert ourselves. We have been asked to find £150,000 for design work by 1st May 2018 and over £3m for construction of a culvert by September 2018 – this is an impossible task

Help us by campaigning for

  • Recognition that the B&MK Waterway should be endorsed as part of the infrastructure planned for the Oxford/Cambridge corridor (and therefore properly funded)
  • Support from partners to secure funding for the culvert to ensure the A421 upgrade fully meets local plan policy, as other projects have been required to do.
  • Help from partners and other agencies in building a strong business case for the Waterway Park and bidding for available funds
  • A more realistic timescale so that a way forward is achievable
  • Wide ranging support to raise short term funding for the design fees for the A421 culvert.

How can you help: 

  • Join us at the Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Trust;
  • Write to your MP about our campaign and to ask him or her to write to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, to ask for full support for the provision of a crossing to be included in the A421 scheme;
  • Write to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling directly at  chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk
  • Write to the Leaders of Central Bedfordshire & Milton Keynes Councils and ask them to rethink their decision to omit the culvert.
  • Spread the word and tell friends and family about our campaign to make the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Park a reality. Help us find a way forward and protect the route. We need your support!

Letter Template that can be used to write to your MP  and or Chris Grayling can be downloaded here from our website.

A421 letter template

Latest News

Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Park blocked by new road scheme

The long-term future of a proposed 26km Waterway Park is under serious threat from the new A421 road scheme says the Bedford and Milton Waterway Trust who have been promoting the project since 1995. The upgrade of the A421 from Milton Keynes to the M1 recently announced by Minister Chris Grayling crosses the route of … Continue reading “Bedford Milton Keynes Waterway Park blocked by new road scheme”

Voluteering Email Incorrect in March 2018 Newsletter

The email address for Pam Williams provided on page 7 of the March 2018 Newsletter is incorrect. To help out at our events please contact Pam Williams on  pamm.williams@johnbunyanboat.org If you need more information please use the same address and Pam will forward your email to the appropriate person.

Major Boost for Waterway Park Plan

The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust welcomes proposals for a series of new communities in the Marston Vale to be built around a Waterway Park between Brogborough and Stewartby lakes. Landowners O&H Properties Ltd has begun a community engagement programme on plans for a series of new villages in the Marston Vale. The Waterway … Continue reading “Major Boost for Waterway Park Plan”

Have your say in Central Bedfordshire Local Plan supporting the Waterway Park

Central Bedfordshire is currently consulting on its Local Plan. There are two policies in the proposed Local Plan which are critical to the Waterway: policy SA2 which proposes the development of a series of new villages in the Marston Vale, built around the Waterway Park, and policy EE10 which focuses on the Waterway Park itself … Continue reading “Have your say in Central Bedfordshire Local Plan supporting the Waterway Park”

Having your say on Bedford Town Centre Masterplan

Bedford Borough Council are consulting the public about a new strategy for the town centre. This will determine how the town centre develops in the future and is an important document. The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway is not included in the draft strategy. Please support our project by responding to the consultation and asking … Continue reading “Having your say on Bedford Town Centre Masterplan”